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Wonderful Watermelon!

It’s that time of year again when we start picking out one of summer’s favorite refreshing fruits, and I’ll bet you didn’t realize the many health benefits attached to watermelon. Watermelon is a natural hydrator because of its high water content (92%). It’s also packed full of nutrients such as lycopene which may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and age related eyesight problems.

Watermelon also contains the amino acid citrulline that when digested can decrease body fat and enhance muscle mass, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found. In another study, drinking watermelon juice was credited with relieving post exercise soreness. To get these great benefits, you don’t have to be confined to simple slices or juice. Try some of these tasty, refreshing summer watermelon recipes!

Get creative with salads
Mix chunks of Watermelon with its cousins, cantaloupe and honey dew. Top with a squeeze if fresh lemon or lime and some chopped mint leaves.
Cover a bed of arugula with watermelon and cucumber chunks, thinly sliced red onion and crumbled feta cheese. Dress your salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh cracked pepper.

Add to appetizers
Wrap chunks of watermelon with prosciutto, skewer with a fresh basil leaf.
Build a watermelon tower by alternating squares of your melon and feta. Tuck a few arugula leaves between the layers. Serve on small plates drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Forever Summer Smoothie
¾ cup seedless watermelon cubes, ½ cup fresh strawberries, a squeeze of lime, sprig of mint, ½ cup plain yogurt, 2 tsp. protein powder, 6 ice cubes. Blend and enjoy. Makes 2 servings.

See you on the workout floor!

Contributing Author: Kelly Kneubuhl

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